Looking for a glorious roast for your Easter feast? Here it is.
This recipe is taken from Long Way on a Little: An earth lover’s companion for enjoying meat, pinching pennies and living deliciously.
The fresh ham is one of the finest and often least expensive cuts of meat on the pig. While there is not a lot of fat around the outside of the roast, the fat is marbled within the meat, making it juicy and delicious. Fresh hams come in all sizes, from an entire leg, weighing12–15 pounds, to boneless roasts weighing as little as 3 pounds. The recipe below is for a 4-pound roast. If you need to cook a bigger fresh ham to feed more people, simply double the amount of herb rub, accommodate for the increased size in your cooking time, and be sure to double-check your work with an internal meat thermometer.
1 recipe Rosemary Herb Rub (below)
4 pounds boneless fresh (uncured) ham (skin-on or skinless is fine)
2 tablespoons minced shallot (optional, for the reduction sauce)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional, for the reduction sauce)
2 cups meat broth
4 tablespoons butter (optional, for the reduction sauce)
Rosemary Herb Rub
Makes about ½ cup
2 tablespoons crumbled dried rosemary
1 tablespoon crumbled dried oregano
2 tablespoons coarse unrefined (Celtic gray) sea salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
Massage the Herb Rub into all surfaces of the meat. If it has not been skinned, use a very sharp knife to cut a series of 1-inch gashes all over the skin, cutting down to the meat without piercing it. Stuff some of the herb rub into each of the cuts. Allow the meat to come to room temperature while you preheat the oven to 325° F.
Place the meat in a roasting pan, insert a meat thermometer, and roast to an internal temperature of 145–160 degrees—depending on how done you like it—about 22 minutes per pound for a boneless roast, 20 minutes per pound for bone-in. Allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before carving so that the juices can settle back down into the meat. Serve au jus (with the pan juices), or make a reduction as follows:
Remove the ham to a cutting board, then set the roasting pan over direct medium heat. Heat the pan drippings until they are bubbling. Add the shallots and Dijon mustard. Continue cooking, stirring and scraping, until the shallots are clear and the browned bits from the pan are mixed into the paste with the mustard and pan juices. Add the broth and continue to simmer until the sauce is reduced by half. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, stirring well after each addition. Drizzle the reduction over the meat and serve.